email marketing trends

6 Major Email Marketing Trends to Prep for in 2021


2020 stirred things up in the business and marketing landscape.

Over the course of a few days, it seemed as though everyone’s buyer preferences had changed. People were spending even more time online than ever before, and businesses suddenly needed new tools to help them cut through the noise in the inbox.

Now that 2021 has arrived, it’s fair to say that most of us could do with an email marketing refresh. If you haven’t been working on your email strategy non-stop since the beginning of the new year, then you might have missed a few of the trends that your competitors are using to get ahead.

Today, we’re going to cover some of the major points that you’ll need to consider as we move into the next year, and why they’re so valuable to your campaigns.

1. Next-level personalization

The best professional email marketing campaigns are always personalized. Something as simple as adding your customer’s name into your subject line when sending an email can be enough to increase your chances of an open by 26%. Plus, personalized emails are also capable of 6 times higher transaction rates too. Although a custom approach to email isn’t exactly new, companies are going to have to go bigger and better than ever in the new year.

Just using your customer’s name isn’t enough anymore. Today’s consumers want messages that are specifically tailored to their needs and interests. If you don’t understand your clients, and deliver what they want from you, they’ll unsubscribe.

One of the best examples of true segmentation we witnessed lately, came from Adidas, who changed their email campaigns based on whether subscribers were male or female.

Adidas Gender-based email

Creating the right segments for your email marketing efforts will boost your chances of generating the right results. You can segment according to a range of different elements, from where your customers are located, to their specific purchase history and behavior.

The more precise you can be about sending personalized emails to your customers, the more likely it is that you’ll build genuine, emotional connections with your audience.

2. Being More Interactive

The more you experiment with email marketing software these days, the more unique features you’ll begin to discover. The rise of dynamic email content and accelerated mobile pages means that interactive emails are becoming a more compelling choice for businesses of all sizes.

The cool thing about interactive emails, is that they give you a way to engage your audience directly within the email message. For instance, instead of linking your customers back to a product category page or landing page on your website, you can embed a carousel with your top-selling products in the email itself. From there, customers can click on “buy now” buttons to shop for the items they want directly.

Adding eCommerce components into your email removes the friction associated with the buying journey. The less friction your customers need to deal with, the more likely it is that they’ll go ahead and make a purchase.

Google pixel buds email

In this email from the Google store, customers have the freedom to pick the color of “buds” they want to check out within the email just by clicking on a swatch. After you click on the swatch, it takes you to the sales page for the item you want.

3. Omnichannel is a Must-Have.

Email marketing is still one of the best ways to connect with your audience wherever you are and generate new leads. However, it’s important to remember that email isn’t the only marketing tool you have. Today’s customers are interacting with your brand in a range of different environments, from social media to your website blogs and content.

To take advantage of 2021 email marketing trends, and take your campaigns to the next level, connect your messaging efforts with your other marketing strategies. For instance, you could add links to some of your most recent blog posts on the bottom of your promo emails for your latest products:

Other things worth reading email

Alternatively, why not link to your social media page on your newsletters? You could include a few images or reviews that your customers left on your social pages in your announcements section to let your audience know how much you value their voice. Using user generated content from social media in your emails makes your community feel more connected to you. Plus, it’s a reminder that customers can find you in various different platforms.

Other options for marketing strategies you can combine with email marketing include:

  • Organic search and content marketing
  • Online eCommerce marketplace marketing
  • YouTube videos and streams
  • Podcasts and downloads

4. Trust is The Holy Grail

This isn’t the first time we’ve discussed the value of improving customer experiences with email. The more you optimize your emails to suit your target audience, the better. Part of that process now means thinking about how you can give your audience peace of mind.

Your customers want to know that you’re not sharing their data with anyone else or exposing them to dangerous data breaches. Tougher privacy laws are gaining more attention, particularly in an era where cybercriminals are targeting more people online.

Making your customers feel secure is a must-have if you want them to stay on your email list. Some of the best things you can do to generate trust include:

  • Getting consent before you send an email with double opt-in forms.
  • Creating a privacy policy that you share with your subscribers.
  • Keep consent records for GDPR purposes.
  • Provide the opportunity for customers to unsubscribe at any time.
  • Avoid using messages or subject lines that are deceptive.

At the bottom of each marketing email, the GAME company adds links to its terms and conditions, privacy policy, and your “unsubscribe” option.

terms and conditions in email

You could even think about adding trust seals to the bottom of your emails if you’re working in an industry where privacy and security are particularly big concerns.

5. Email Templates Get Better

When a customer receives your email, everything in that message is an insight into the kind of business you’re running, and the brand you want to demonstrate. The templates you use to share your email marketing messages are crucial to making the right impact on your audience.

As we move into 2021, it’s important to take some time out to go back through your templates, including the ones you use for newsletters, promotions, and transactional emails. Ask yourself whether the visual impact of these emails is enough to really connect with your target audience. Is your image just as compelling as the aesthetic of your competitors?

For some companies, the best bet will be to use different templates for different emails. For instance, when you’re issuing important announcements, you might stick to simple text-based messages that look more like a handwritten letter.

moveable ink handwritten letter

Alternatively, when you’re sharing your standard email newsletters, promotional campaigns, and other messages designed to highlight your brand, you can go all-out. There’s a lot of companies on the market today taking advantage of the faster loading speeds of mobile devices with bold and bright email templates. Using the right imagery and colors in your campaigns could help to make your business more memorable.

magic spoon email

6. Greater Levels of Automation

Finally, taking advantage of the various trends emerging for email marketing is a complicated process. That’s why it’s so important to have the right automation strategy in place.

Companies will need to make sure that they can create comprehensive campaigns that send automatically at the right time. While most companies already have a welcome series set up, there’s plenty of room for further growth. For instance, you might set up automated transactional emails to give your audience peace of mind when they buy something from your company.

airbnb reset password email

If you’re trying to build emotional connections with your audience, you might send birthday or anniversary emails to remind your customers of your brand. You can even send emails based on the activities that people take on your website with help from the right automation tools.

Investing more into the right automation strategies will ensure that you can build stronger and more consistent connections with your audience this year. As clients continue to focus on finding the companies that they can trust to do business with, automation will help to stop you from falling off their radar.

Getting Ready for New Email Trends

The confusion of 2020 certainly wreaked havoc on a lot of companies and their marketing strategies. However, it also gave us an opportunity to re-assess our campaigns and figure out new ways to generate successful results. If you haven’t spruced up your email strategy yet, now could be the perfect time to rethink your priorities and explore the trends we mentioned above.

While not every trend will automatically work for your brand, being aware of what’s happening in the email marketing world will help to ensure that you stay ahead of the curve, and the competition.


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